Planting a garden is a very rewarding experience. It’s exciting and extremely satisfying to create something from scratch with your hands, and then watch as it grows, blooming into exquisite flowers and plants that visually enrich your yard , or continually producing succulent vegetables you’ll enjoy preparing for delicious meals. But for some rookie gardeners, not knowing about some common mistakes when planting and maintaining your garden can cause all your excitement and effort to wilt. Knowledge and preparation are the key to a successful garden of any kind, and by avoiding the following gardening mistakes from the get-go will save you much time, work and disappointment.
- Over-watering — It’s natural to believe that more is better, but when watering flowers and vegetables this isn’t true. Every plant needs different amounts of water, so it’s important to research this and water accordingly. Most plants and flowers should not be watered every day. A good, deep watering three times a week is usually sufficient for the roots to absorb nutrients from the soil.
- Overcrowding — All plants need room to breathe. When planting too densely, they will not receive adequate air circulation or sunlight, which inhibits their full growing potential and also puts stress on them that encourages disease.
- Killing All the Insects — Many new gardeners think they need to constantly stay on bug patrol — seeing all bugs as the enemy and killing every bug they see in their garden because they believe they will destroy it. It’s all about balance here. The majority of bugs are actually “good guys,” and although they occasionally nibble a leaf or two, in exchange they eat the harmful insects and provide beneficial pollination. It is much healthier for your garden to have contain a population of these hardworking soldiers than to smother it with pesticides, which usually do more harm than good.
- Not Knowing Plants Native to Your Area — Although it may be tempting to plant all the flowers you love, it’s important to be aware that most plants will only grow successfully in their native environments. Some plants just won’t thrive in certain areas. By growing plants that are native to your region, you will increase their chances of survival, and save yourself money and heartache.
- Avoiding Weeding — No, it isn’t fun to weed, but it’s probably one of the most critical tasks in maintaining your garden. If you neglect this chore, weeds will seed and spread rapidly. Weeds not only diminish the beauty of your garden, but they will quickly take over and choke your plants and crowd the beds, leading to stunted growth.
A successful garden takes a little effort, a little knowledge and lots of love. By avoiding these simple gardening mistakes, you will be rewarded everyday with a garden that flourishes and the satisfaction that you created this thing of beauty in your small corner of the planet.
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